A Modern Day Fairy Tale: September 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Melissa Spoelstra’s ‘Total Family Makeover’ Family Fun Night Giveaway

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for review. All thoughts are 100% my own.

As moms in this day and age, we have quite the to do list, don't we?

Our days are filled wit taking care of all of our children's basic needs- feeding them, bathing them, dressing them. Our days are filled with household chores. Our days are filled with meal planning and grocery shopping. On top of these every day tasks, we are also expected to be chauffeurs taking our children to all of the activities that society tells us they need to partake in. We are expected to plan Pinterest worthy birthday parties and holiday celebrations.

Yes, there are a lot of expectations and goals that we set for ourselves as mothers. As a Christian mother, none of these things hold as much importance as raising my children in a Christian home. But how do I actually go about doing that? How can I raise my children in a way that leads them to Christ?

The new book by Melissa Spoelstra, 'Total Family Makeover' helps to show us just that. Take a look:

God calls us as parents to be key disciple-makers in our children’s lives, but if we’re honest, some days it’s a battle just to get them dressed and ready for school on time. How can you mold their hearts when sometimes you can’t even find their shoes?
In Total Family Makeover, author Melissa Spoelstra gives parents a way—a sort of spiritual track to run on—when it comes to building family discipleship. She focuses on eight key habits of growth:
•         Spending Time in Prayer
•         Reading God's Word
•         Growing Through a Mentoring Relationship
•         Finding Community in the Church
•         Serving Others
•         Taking Time to Rest
•         Giving Back to God
•         Sharing Your Faith
Disciples are made, not born. Whether your children are babes in arms or teenagers getting ready to leave the nest, making disciples at home starts with you! Give your family a makeover with this practical approach to helping your children learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Now, I've read many parenting books throughout the years...some of them even on the topic of raising Christian children, but this one might be a new favorite. These tips given aren't crazy out of the box ideas. On some level, we all probably know that these are the ways to keep Christ at the center of our families. We know that it's important to spend time in prayer and read the Bible with our children. We know that serving others and sharing our faith are great examples to set for our children. We even know that finding a great church can make a great impact on our children and our family. Still, sometimes in the midst of all the chaos that motherhood can bring, we need that reminder. We need practical ways to live out those ideas in a way that will motivate our children. This book truly provides just that, mixing real life modern stories we can relate to with Biblical truths.

Looking for a great book to read with your small mom's group? Each chapter offers a series of group discussion topics that make this an ideal choice. There are also more questions and scripture references given so that you can dig even deeper into God's word and how it applies to parenting for the Christian mom.

This is truly a great read that I feel all moms can benefit from. You can see what other bloggers had today here.

Total Family Makeover Melissa Spoelstra
Begin to build your family discipleship and become the key disciple-makers in your children's lives with Melissa Spoelstra's new book, Total Family Makeover. Disciples are made, not born. Whether your children are babes in arms or teenagers getting ready to leave the nest, making disciples at home starts with you! Give your family a makeover with this practical approach to helping your children learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Plan an evening of fun, pizza, devotionals, and games with your family! Melissa is giving away a Family Fun Night Prize Pack.


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 7. The winner will be announced October 10 on Melissa's blog.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How He Loves Us {Journaling Through October's Monthly Devotional} #IllustratedFaith #DaySpring #IF_HowHeLovesUs #Biblejournaling

**I received the kit as part of Dayspring's Illustrated Faith launch team. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Jesus loves us. 

We all know this. From the time we can remember, most of us learned all about it in song.

"Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so."

Those words are forever stamped into our minds. In fact, most of you probably started singing it at that very first phrase. But aside from that, how often do we take the time to truly think about this? We know that God loves us, but do we stop to think about HOW he loves us?

He Loves Us As He Made Us.

He created each and every one of us according to His purpose. He gave us weaknesses in which to learn and grow from, and to allow Him to be seen through it, and He gave us the talents and gifts he intended us to have to bring Glory to His name.

He Loved Us While We Were Still Sinners.

John 15:13 says there us no greater love than one who is willing to die for His friends. This is exactly what Jesus did for all of us on the cross. Not just for His friends, but for all of us. He dies so that we might live. Even when we are imperfect, even when we fall short, even when we turn our back on Him, He loved us enough to go to the cross for each and every one of us. Many of us might say that we would die for our loved ones, but few are actually faced with that decision. It's not just a sound bite, He actually DID it. I cannot imagine a love that is greater.

He Loves Us Through the Hard Times.

Sometimes, when we are in the middle of tough times it can be really hard to put our trust in God. Sometimes we're tempted to ask Him, "Why? Why, God? Why me? What did I do to deserve this?" Through our doubts and our questions, His love remains. He is there with us as we go through those storms giving us strength when we are weak on our own. Isaiah 40:31 reminds us, "they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Through it all, He is there loving us.

He Loves Us By Name.

For every mom that has more than one child, you know the struggle to call your child by the correct name. So often I find myself saying, "Shaun, I mean, Finley...oh, whoever you are!" Of course, I know my children's names and who is who, but sometimes we just get mixed up. Have you ever stopped to think about that in relation to God. He is the heavenly Father of 7.3 BILLION children. We get mixed up with just TWO children...can you imagine all of the possible names to go through with that many!? And yet God never gets mixed up. He knows each and every one of us by name. He knows us in and out. He knows our likes and dislikes. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows more about us than we know about ourselves. He knows us, and He loves us.

He Loves Us Enough To Hear Us.

Think again about all those children of God, and think about our own children. Every day they ask about a million questions. "What is that? Can I have that? No really, can I PLEASE have that? Are we there yet?" Multiply that by 7 billion. Can you even imagine? And yet, God hears each and every one of our prayers. When we doubt Him, when we praise Him, when we ask Him why...He hears them all. And just like us with our own children, we may not always get the answers WE want, but we do get answers. He hears every single prayer, and He answers them according to his plan- a plan much greater than our own. How incredible is that?

He Loves Us Despite Our Messes.

I think it's human nature to always  put our best foot forward. We see this on social media. We share our best with the world and try to leave out the worst. When we have guests coming to our home, we find ourselves in a cleaning frenzy... we don't want to be judged for the messes in our lives, figuratively and literally. But I'll be honest...I'm a mess! And I think if we were honest, most of us could say the same. God knows that. He sees it all. He sees the dishes you've hidden in the oven and the doubts you hide in your heart. Yet He doesn't judge us for any of that. He loves us despite it all.

He Loves Us As A Child.

I've been a Christian for a long time, but I must admit that I never truly grasped how much God loved us until I had children of my own. The moment you welcome a life into this world, there is a love that cannot be measured or explained. It can only be experienced. I never could have imagined loving a person so much until my son was born. That is just how God sees each and every one of us. We are His children, and He loves us unconditionally- in the good time when we are singing His praises and in the bad when we're throwing our tantrums.

When we truly stop to think about just HOW God loves us, I cannot help but be in awe. What a love this is! There is no one in this world that can love us just as God can, and I think that is a reminder that we could all use every one in awhile. And for me, that was just what October's Illustrated Faith monthly devotional kit 'How He Loves Us' offered- a beautiful reminder of all of the amazing ways that God loves us and shows us that love every day. Take a look:

Oh, how our Heavenly Father loves us - He gives us talents for His glory, He frees us with His truth, He never leaves us, He forgives us, He knows our name, He hears us, He heals us...yes, oh, how He loves us.  Take this 14-day devotional journey with devotional writer, Stephanie Buice, and let the following truth saturate your soul, daily..."No matter what we've done, how many times we've failed or succeeded, He will still love us."  —Stephanie Buice 

Product Details:

1 devotional booklet (14 devotionals)
1 stamp pad
1 clear stamp collection with 1 sheet of cut-outs enclosed
1 roll of washi tape
1 package of 3 Scripture sharables
1 sticker1 bow clip

Though I have loved each and every devotional kit I've received, this one might be my new favorite. It is such a beautiful message, giving me a great way to look at God's love in ways that I could relate. In addition, the colors were absolutely stunning...lots of colors to choose from and I found they also coordinated beautifully with inks and washi tape from previous kits as well. This is an amazing kit, and a reminder that I think we all could use!

The 'How He Loves Us' kit is available now at Dayspring.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Celebrating Unlikely Heroes with Disney's QUEEN OF KATWE (In Theaters September 30) #QueenofKatwe

**A huge thank you to Grace Hill Media for sponsoring this post. All thoughts are 100% my own.

When we think of heroes, what comes to mind? We think superheroes. We think military heroes. We think celebrities. We think of people who do HUGE things. But what about those unlikely heroes in our lives?

Last week, I shared with you about a friend of mine- Jen Bricker- who inspired me and made me a better mom to my son. But she was just one of the people God placed in my life for just the reason. Today, I want to share a little bit about another of these people- one of my unlikely heroes- a sweet boy named Evan.

I first met Evan during my freshman year in high school. You see, I went to a school that had every grade from preschool to 12th all in one building, which meant that in high school if we had interest in doing so, we were able to help in one of the elementary classrooms during our free period. I hadn't given the idea much thought, but one morning in my study hall, they came in and said they had a student down in the preschool that needed a one on one helper every morning. That boy was Evan- a sweet 3 year old boy with Down Syndrome.

I've often heard it said that working with special needs children was such a blessing and that you truly got to experience a kind of love that is genuine and beautiful. Evan was my first time experiencing this for myself and I found it to be absolutely true. Each morning, I was greeted with a big hug and an even bigger smile. This boy truly was the sweetest kid I had ever met. No matter what kind of day I might have been having, I'd see that smile and feel that love and my day would be brighter for it. What a way to start the day!

Later when my son- another hero of mine- was diagnosed with autism I came to realize that once again my experiences with Evan had helped to prepare me to be a better mom for my son. He taught me patience, understanding and acceptance firsthand... something I would later need with my son. He didn't do anything big, he was only just Evan- exactly who God intended him to be- but he brightened my days and made me a better person and a better mom, and for that he truly was a hero in my eyes.

He is just one example of an unlikely hero- someone who might not seem like your typical hero but who makes a difference or overcomes great obstacles despite the odds. Those are the kind of hero stories that I cannot get enough of. And that's just the kind of story we get to experience in the new Disney movie, Queen of Katwe-

Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE is based on the inspiring true story of Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi.  Phiona was a young girl living in the slums of Katwe, Uganda.  One day she stumbles upon Katende and a group of children playing chess in a makeshift church.  Through the guidance of Katende and the game of chess, Phiona is encouraged to believe in herself.  Eventually, she finds herself not only competing in local chess matches, but winning in international competitions.  Robert and Phiona’s story celebrates the notion that champions can come from the most unlikely places. 

I cannot wait to check out this inspirational new movie and share it with my children as a reminder that nothing is impossible. It will be in theaters this Friday, September 30.

Are you looking forward to this new Disney film? What unlikely hero would you love to watch it with?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Shine the Light of Christ This Christmas with a Dayspring FLASH SALE! #Dayspring

**Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own. 
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Okay, okay, I must admit...I'm a little Christmas obsessed! But can you blame me? It truly is the most magical time of the year. It's a time to step back and reflect on the greatest gift ever given. The gift of Jesus Christ.

So, at the holiday season more than ever, I try to surround myself with those reminders of that gift. I listen to music celebrating the birth of Christ, I read books celebrating the Christmas spirit, and I decorate my home in a way to bring glory to God.

Today, I'm excited to share with you a sale that will help you do just that.

Now through Wednesday night, Dayspring has their stunning Nativity Hurricane Candle Holder Trio on sale for just $50!! That's $30 off of the regular price! This gorgeous set truly is a stunning way to let the light of God shine in your home throughout this holiday season....literally!

Don't miss this amazing price- head on over to Dayspring to buy it now!

While you're there, you can also take a sneak peek at some of the other stunning Christmas selections at Dayspring this year. They truly have everything you need- no matter your style- to keep Christ at the center of YOUR Christmas this year! Check it out today!

Have you checked out Dayspring's Christmas collection? What are your favorite pieces? How else do you keep Christ in your home throughout the holiday season?

The Christmas Angel Project {A Book Review}

**I received a copy of this book for review. All thoughts are my own.

If there is one thing in this world that I just cannot get enough of, it's a feel good Christmas story! Truly, aren't those the best? Last year I had the chance to review one such book, The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson. I had been a huge fan of Melody's young adult books back in high school, so I was excited to experience her adult titles as well. And the book did not disappoint. I absolutely love it! So, when I heard that she had another new Christmas book coming out this year, I knew I had to get my hands on it:

Five women from different walks of life have become close friends through their book club--enjoying one another's company even more than they enjoy the books. So when the leader of the book club unexpectedly passes away on the cusp of the Christmas season, the four remaining friends are stunned. They relied on Abby for inspiration and motivation. She was the glue that held them together, and they're sure that without her the group can't continue. 

When the group gathers "one last time" to open a bag Abby's husband gives them, they find Abby had made each of them an angel ornament for Christmas, crafted especially for each woman and accompanied by a sweet and personal note. Inspired by their beloved friend, together Cassidy, Louisa, Grace, and Belinda decide to commit themselves to becoming Christmas Angels to others in need. Each woman will use her life situation and talents to reach out and help others in her own unique way--little knowing that her own life and her relationships will be changed forever.

Fan favorite Melody Carlson is back with another touching Christmas story sure to grip readers' hearts and perhaps inspire them to become Christmas Angels themselves.

As much as I enjoyed last year's, I must admit, I loved this one even more! With every turn of the page I found myself drawn deeper and deeper into the lives of these four friends. What I love most about this and all Melody Carlson books I have read is that the characters are 100% real. They are not perfect people, they all have faults, they all have struggles. But in her books, as is in real life we see that even through tragedies and loss there is goodness to be found. For me, this book was such a beautiful example of that. I loved getting to know these ladies and their stories and wanted to keep reading more and more.

Now, I know it seems like its pretty early in the year still to be thinking about Christmas, but such is the life of a review blogger. Still, I think it's nice to keep a little bit of that Christmas spirit all through the year! If you are looking for a great book to kick off your holiday season this year, this book is sure to get you into the spirit and serve as a beautiful reminder of the true spirit of the season. It may even inspire you to become a Christmas Angel yourself.

The Christmas Angel Project is available to purchase now

Friday, September 23, 2016

Thrift or Treat {Halloween On a Budget}

Halloween is quickly approaching and for many of us, that's an added expense that we just can't afford. This year our budget is even tighter than normal, so I am certainly also looking for ways to cut the budget down as much as possible. I'm sure I'm not the only one! So today, I'm sharing a few ideas to help get you started on saving this Halloween season. From costumes to treats to decor, let the savings begin!

Buy Used

For many kids, Halloween costumes are worn once or twice, then they're either outgrown or kids move on to something else. So rather than buying a brand new costume every year, head to your local thrift stores. You can find barely worn costumes for a fraction of the cost. You can also often find vintage clothing that can be mixed and matched to create your own costumes! 

Do It Yourself

Now, sometimes DIY costumes aren't the cheapest option so you'll want to watch costs on this one, but there are plenty of DIY options that can help you save! Last year, my son asked to be Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He wore a white tee and black pants he already had, and a I created a mask from an old pair of stockings and a foam board. (See how I made it here.)  The total cost was just a little over $1 and everyone LOVED it! When I was a child I dressed in purple from head to toe, pinned purple balloons all over... I was a bunch of grapes! Not only was it inexpensive, but I won a Halloween costume contest that year too! Have a Minion loving kiddo? A yellow top and overalls make a simple costume, and you can often find Minion goggles for under $10. Go with a red or green top and draw on a mustache for Mario or Luigi. Get creative and have fun with it!

Need trick or treat bags? Take old pillow cases and let kids decorate them to make them their own! You can use paint, markers, or even tie dye them! 

Look at Clearance

Of course we know the best time to buy cheap Halloween costumes is after the holiday when things start going on clearance, so you can always plan ahead for next year. But what about this year? Halloween stuff might not be on clearance yet, but you may still find some items that will work! Check toy sections for dress up clothes or masks. These aren't technically Halloween costumes so they could be marked down. Two years ago we found my son some Minecraft cardboard masks on clearance for a few dollars each! Again, not technically made for Halloween but they worked perfectly!

Check Dollar Stores

Some stores like Family Dollar or Dollar General may have full costumes, but even stores like Dollar Tree have costume pieces that you can put together with items you already have for the perfect look. For instance, my daughter asked to be a witch this year. We found a witch had and broom at our local Dollar Tree which she can wear with a black dress she already has! Easy! They also had cat ears and tails... wear black and your look is complete! For the boys, we saw some turtle shells and ninja masks. These aren't licenced products, but together with green top and pants makes the perfect Ninja Turtles outfit.

Dollar stores are also great for trick or treat bags and decor. A few years back we put together a little graveyard in our front yard using foam tombstones from the Dollar Tree. We had about 5 of them for a grand total of $5! They have lots of decor to choose from- from the spooky to fun! 

Save and ReUse
Now, if you only have one little one, or you have a boy and a girl like me, this may not work out so well. Some kids don't want to use the same costume again (although my son personally went as Thomas 3 years in a row!). But I grew up in a house of 3 girls! Sometimes we'd get newer costumes, but every year they all went in the box and into storage. We had so many costumes that we could mix and match that we never were without a costume!

Buy Budget Candy

I know, I know... we all want to be the house with the best candy, right? But let's be honest... candy can be VERY expensive. Especially if you live in an area with a ton of trick or treaters. When we lived on base, ours was one of the housing areas that EVERYONE went to. We would buy several huge bags of candy to fill our huge cauldron and in less than an hour, they'd be gone! Crazy! And crazy expensive. So, don't be afraid to buy the cheaper things. I don't know about your kids, but mine LOVE Tootsie Rolls and lollipops! These don't cost as much for bulk candy, but they will still get eaten. (Stay tuned for a few fun ideas to make those 'cheap' candies even more exciting!)

What other ideas do you have for saving this Halloween?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

1 Dress. 3 Looks. { A LuLaRoe Carly Dress Review & LuLaCash Giveaway}

Welcome to the Fall Fashion For All Giveaway Hop hosted by Lindsey Blogs and Viva Veltoro. What better way to celebrate the upcoming Fall season than with a Fall Fashion Giveaway Hop!? A group of your favorite bloggers have come together to offer the best Fall Fashion Giveaways for the entire family – so be sure to hop around to them all below my giveaway and don't miss that AMAZING Grand Prize from the hosts.


**Dress received for review. My love of LuLaRoe is all my own.

Fall fashion is my favorite! Comfy sweaters, adorable boots, cute scarves...what's not to love, right? And I must admit that since discovering LuLaRoe, I've been looking forward to fall fashion even more! Not only can I look great for fall, but I can be crazy comfortable too!

There are many LuLaRoe styles that would be great for fall- the Ana dress, maxi skirts, Sarah Cardigans, Lindsay Kimonos, Joy Vest... and of course, leggings! But this fall, I have found my new fall go-to style in one of their newest dresses- the Carly dress!

We all want a cute dress that lets us breathe and move easier, so we are excited about the Carly - a swing dress that flatters the best parts of a feminine physique while being flowy and breezy everywhere else. The Carly comes in a wide array of fabrics, prints, and washes and has some amazing features such as a patch pocket, a flattering high-low hemline, and cool open sleeves.

When I first saw Carly, I wasn't sure how it would work for me. I loved the style, but I am very petite. I wear a size 0, and XXS across all LuLaRoe styles. The problem? Carly is a very roomy dress and most will recommend going down 1-2 sizes from your normal LuLaRoe size. Being an XXS, I couldn't do that so I was worried that it would swallow me! But I gave it a shot anyway and boy am I glad that I did! Sure, it's quite roomy, but the best part of Carly is its versatility. You can size down, wear your regular size or even size up-- it's all about how you style it and the look you want to go for. And honestly there are so many styles to choose from. Today, I'm sharing how I styled this one dress in three ways!

On It's Own, No Styling

Honestly, I didn't think I would like Carly without any additional styling, especially because I am not able to size down... but let me tell you, I love it! It's so crazy comfortable, it feels as though I'm wearing a nightgown, yet it's socially acceptable to wear out the door!  I cannot help but think this is going to be perfect for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays... you can eat all the pumpkin pie your want and not worry about tight jeans or a food baby!! It's perfect for hiding anything you're uncomfortable with!

Belted With Boots

If the oversized look isn't your thing, this look gives it a little more shape! You can play around with blousing and types of belts to get the look you like. I've used thicker belts as well, but prefer the thinner with a little bit of blousing. This probably is my favorite way to style Carly. It's still effortless but just gives it that little something extra! Finish off the fall look with some adorable boots or booties!

Knotted with Leggings

Now, you can wear leggings with either of the previous styles as well for added warmth when the weather changes too, but I like this unique look too! It allows a little more peek of your coordinating leggings and is just a fun way to mix it up! Who says you can't play around with fashion?

These are just three of the many great ways you can style your LuLaRoe Carly dress, but the possibilities are endless! Pair it with other great LuLaRoe styles like Sarah, Joy or Lindsey. Throw on a denim jacket or vest. Add a scarf! Just have fun with it! With LuLaRoe, fashion is just as it should be--- comfortable and FUN!

The Carly is just one of the amazingly comfortable, versatile and flattering styles that LuLaRoe has to offer. They truly have a little something for the whole family. Even my son loves wearing his own leggings around the home. With their incredible softness and stretch, they are ideal for kids like him with sensory issues! They are the only pants he'll keep on once we are in the house!

Want to check out Carly and other comfortable styles from LuLaRoe, head on over and visit our fantastic sponsor LuLaRoe Pixie VIPs with Rob & Jamey Shelden.  Want to earn free clothes? Ask about an online pop up! Interested in the business opportunity? Just ask!

And she is giving one very lucky reader the chance to win $40 LuLaCash to use on anything in her inventory! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery. So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, and the Fall Fashion For all participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Everything Is Possible {A Book Review}

**Book received for review. All thoughts are my own.

In life, I believe that God sends people into our lives for a reason- to teach us a lesson or to be there when we need them. Some of these people are our best friends, and others we just meet in passing. Still, they impact our lives- sometimes for good, sometimes not, but always for a reason. Today, I want to share a story about how I met one such person in my own life.

I talk often about my time at church camp and often can be heard saying it was one of my absolute favorite places on earth. But it wasn't always that way. My first year, I was a nervous wreck, with no idea what to expect. Thankfully, I had one of my childhood best friends Tiffany with me, who was much more sociable than myself. When we arrived, we were one of the first vehicles in the line and check in had not yet started. So, Tiffany suggested we go ahead and start meeting some new people then and there. I followed her lead, as we walked to the car directly in front of us and made introductions. We instantly clicked with the girl in that car. She had been to camp before and welcomed us warmly, offering to room with her and meet some of her friends. She was genuine and fun, and we couldn't wait to get to know her better. We enjoyed our conversation as she sat in the car with her mom, that we missed one little detail about this new friend. She had no legs.

That girl was Jen Bricker.

Now, I know that seems like a pretty big thing to miss, but truly if you met her you'd understand. She did not have an attitude like she was missing anything or that anyone should feel sorry for her. She was confident, she was happy, she was genuine. One of the first things she said when we found a room was, "I've got top bunk!" And I must admit, those words were a little shocking to me. How would that work? But I soon learned that despite her outward appearance and what some would see as disability, she had no limitations. She DID climb onto that top bunk on her own. And she played volleyball and basketball. She may have come with a wheelchair, but she was out of it more than she was in. She truly taught me that there truly are no disabilities, only different abilities.

When my son was diagnosed with autism several years later, I thought back to my sweet friend and her no limits attitude. Yes, her limitations may have been different than my son's, but it reminded me that the only truly limits were the ones that we set. I truly believe that God put Jen into my life for just that reason, knowing that one day I would need that positive outlook and encouragement to get through the rough moments. I have been truly blessed to know her. Most of you probably won't get that chance to know her personally and call her a friend, but now with her new book, you can get to know her story...and what an incredible story it is! From her amazing accomplishments to finding her biological sister was none other than her childhood hero Olympic gymnast- Dominique Moceanu. This is one book that you absolutely MUST read!

Born without Legs, She Inspires Others to Overcome

Jen Bricker was born without legs. Shocked and uncertain they could care for her, her biological parents gave her up for adoption. In her loving adoptive home, there was just one simple rule: "Never say 'can't.'" And pretty soon, there was nothing this small but mighty powerhouse set her sights on that she couldn't conquer: roller-skating, volleyball, power tumbling, and spinning from silk ribbons thirty feet in the air.

Everything Is Possible is her incredible story--a story of God working out his plan for her life from before day one. Readers follow Jen from the challenges of growing up different to holding captive audiences numbering in the tens of thousands. Everything Is Possible shows readers what they can accomplish when they remove the words coincidence and limitation from their vocabulary. Filled with heart and spirit, as well as Jen's wit, wisdom, and no-holds-barred honesty, this inspiring true story points the way to purpose and joy. Foreword by Nick Vujicic.

And I am beyond excited to give one very lucky reader the chance to win a copy for themselves. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Memory Verse Hand Print {A Kids Craft}

Do you do memory verses with your kids? How do you make it easier for kids to learn those verses? For my son, though he has an outstanding memory, he also has a very short attention span. If it doesn't interest him, he doesn't care to memorize anything. Hw loves Bible stories, but doesn't care too much for memory verses. I have to think of new and fun ways to keep it interesting so he will actually WANT to learn!

That's just what today's super simple kids' craft is all about:

Memory Verse Hand Print

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • String/Yarn

  1. First, help your little one trace their hand onto a piece of construction paper or cardstock. 
  2. Cut out the hand.
  3. Place hand with the thumb facing to the right. On the palm of the hand, write your memory verse. (Older kids can do this themselves for added memory practice.)
  4. Fold down all fingers except the pointer down over your verse.
  5. Cut a small piece of string and tie around the pointer finger.
  6. If you'd like, decorate your hand as you please...add fingernails, jewelry, have fun with it!

That's it! This super simple craft is easy and expensive and a fun way to help kids remember Bible verses! It's perfect at home or for Sunday School classes!

What other tips and tricks do you have for helping little ones with their memory verses? What are some of your favorite memory verses for kids?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Be The Best Dressed Mom in the Car Line in #MyFavoritePJs {A Richard Leeds International Review & PJ Wardrobe Giveaway- 13 Winners} @richardleedsint

This is a sponsored post for Richard Leeds International, organized by Southern Mom Loves. All opinions are my own.

Around the country, parents are breathing a sigh of relief that their little ones have headed back to school. Finally something to cure the endless rounds of 'Mom, I'm bored' that have filled the final days of summer. Time to get to all those chores that have been put on the back burner all summer long because with kids out of school...well, what was the point? Maybe even time to take a hot shower or a nice long soak without someone banging on the door. Yes, there are certainly a lot of good things that we as parents can look forward to as our little ones head back to school... but there are a few downfalls too.

Like the dreaded wake up time!

Gone are the days of turning off the alarm clock and just sleeping in. Gone are those stay up way too late catching up on your favorite show on Netflix. Gone are the carefree, no time restraint days of summer. Back to school means back to early mornings, and I must admit, I'm not a morning person! It takes everything in me to get my son out of bed and dressed for school--- getting myself ready too? Nope, no way, not going to happen!

Yeah, I'm THAT mom... not the mom dressed in heels with hair and makeup done to perfection... no, I'm the mom who just rolled out of bed, still in my jammies, who may or may not have taken the time to brush my hair. Who is with me?

Thankfully, with Richard Leeds International, I can still be the best dressed mom at the bus stop/car line in my adorable Minnie Mouse long-sleeved, hooded onesie pajama set!

Seriously now...how cute are these? I don't know about you, but the joy of dressing up didn't end in childhood for me, so I love that I am able to dress up like my favorite Disney characters like Minnie Mouse! Every detail seems to have been thought of from the sweet collar to the iconic bow. Not only did I love looking like Minnie, but my daughter enjoyed it too! But of course with any sleepwear, it can be as cute as a button, but unless it's comfortable, it's not going to cut it. This onesie certainly is that! In fact, these may just be the most comfortable pjs I've ever worn. I don't want to be cliche and say it feels like you're sleeping on a cloud...but seriously...it does feel like that! Or perhaps being wrapped in a blanket. They are incredibly soft and cozy... my kids didn't want to stop petting me! They're also super warm...perfect for those upcoming winter days...the other moms may be freezing, but I'll be nice and toasty!

Perhaps you're thinking, 'But won't the kids be embarrassed?' Pop up that hoodie and no one ever has to know who you are! That's the beauty of these PJs...it's like PJs and a costume all wrapped into one! No makeup? Hair not brushed? Who cares! These PJs have you covered!

(A Modern Day Fairy Tale takes no responsibility for children embarrassed as a result of this post. Children's reactions may vary.)

While I love the Minnie Mouse pajamas I received, they are just one of the great designs available. They also come in other favorite Disney characters like Olaf, Eeyore and Ariel!!! Some of my personal favorites. They also offer three non-character designs- Sugar Skull, Shark and Pollo. (See all below.) With all of these options, you're sure to find just the right pair for you. Find them in the Sleepwear section at Walmart in-store or online at Walmart.com.

And Richard Leeds International is giving 13 Lucky Winners the chance to win!

  • 1-(One) 1st prize: 7 pair of onesies pajamas
  • 2-(Two) 2nd prizes: 4 pair of onesies pajamas
  • 3-(Three) 3rd prizes: 3 pair of onesies pajamas
  • 7-(Seven) 4th prizes: 1 pair of onesies pajamas
  • 13 winners total
  • Total prize ARV $620
  • Designs are randomly chosen (from the styles above) and sent to the winners in the size they state in the giveaway widget.
  • Giveaway begins 9/16/16 and ends 10/7/16. 
  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Open to residents of the US only.

Giveaway begins on 9/16/16 at 1:00 am CST and ends on 10/7/16 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 years or older, open to residents of the US only. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add southernmomloves@gmail.com to your whitelist. Richard Leeds International will be responsible for prize delivery to the winner. This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform. The participating bloggers were compensated for this post. Once confirmed, the winners will be added to the Southern Mom Loves Winner's List.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Raising A Young Modern Day Princess {A Book Review}

**Book received for review. All thoughts are my own.

When I first found out that I was expecting a little girl, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to raise my daughter as a princess. No, I don't mean that I wanted to raise her to think that she was better than anyone else, or to be spoiled and always get her way. Not that kind of princess. I wanted to raise her as the princess that she truly is--- the daughter of a King.

But, how on earth was I supposed to do that? I knew the traits that I wanted to encourage in her, but how did I actually go about doing so?

If this sounds like you too, then I have the perfect book for you today- Raising a Young Modern Day Princess:

Emulating the format of Raising a Modern-Day Princess, authors Doreen Hanna and Karen Whiting seek to help parents and grandparents cultivate strong relationships and encourage the spiritual formation in their daughters using examples, Bible teaching on the fruit of the Spirit, and a variety of creative activities that are based on Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).

By implementing the ideas in this book, mothers (as well as fathers) will be equipped to understand and guide their daughters through each step of becoming His “princess.” This will include perceiving a daughter’s unique personality and gifts, refining her character through training and discipline, and modeling the attributes of a daughter of the King.

This book is a follow-up to both Raising a Modern-Day Knight (by Robert Lewis) and Raising a Modern-Day Princess by Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna. While the latter book is aimed at parents of girls ages 12 and up, this book focuses on building the Christian character of younger girls.

For me, this book truly was everything I was looking for! There is so much great information packed in, I don't even know where to begin sharing it all. We start out by determining what type of personality our little girl has with an in depth quiz. Not every princess is created equally so I love that they take a look at these various personality types so that we know how to better relate to and reach our girls! There is also a quiz for moms which allows us to see how we differ from our daughter's again giving us perspective on how to relate to one another. Once you've determined personality types, each chapter is broken down into an individual fruit of the spirit. A personal narrative is offered for each chapter, but is followed by tons of ideas for activities and tools to try with our daughters. There are many, so you may not choose to do them all at once, but it truly does give a lot of options to work on. And again because every little girl is different, there are suggestions for each fruit based upon their personality type. This isn't just a book for moms and daughters, there are also ideas and told for dads and daughters, so that the whole family can be on board in teaching these valuable traits.

Now, with my daughter just having turned 3 years old, many of these tools and activities are not quite to her level just yet. Still, I know that this is a great starting point for me as her mom, and I look forward to using it more in depth with her as she gets older.

If you are a mom to a little girl, this is one book you must read. It is available to purchase now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hillsong-Let Hope Rise in Theaters September 16 {An It's Fall Y'all Giveaway Hop}

The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are starting to cool off, which can only mean one thing... It's Fall Y'all! Let's celebrate this popular season with a giveaway hop, hosted by Lindsey Blogs and Viva Veltoro. That's right, a great group of bloggers have come together to offer you giveaways, so be sure to hop around to them all in the linky below.


**Product received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Do you have a song that is kind of like your theme song? A song whose words speak to you, or you feel like could have been written just for you? A song you aspire to live by?

For me, that song is Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United.

From the first time I heard this song, I was in love. And if you've heard the song, it's not hard to understand why. It's absolutely beautiful. Just take a look at these lyrics:

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

2012 Hillsong Music Publishing

I have to admit, I'm a little bit of a control freak. Perhaps because of my anxiety, but I like to know just how things are going to work out before they do. When things are unknown...well, I really struggle. Of course, I know that I need to put my full trust in God through every circumstance, but actually doing that is hard! When I hear the words to this song, I am reminded again that even in the unknown God is there with me, and I need to trust in Him completely. Though it's not always easy, I strive to live by those words..."Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders...."

This may be my favorite song by Hillsong (and favorite song in general), but it's certainly not alone when it comes to amazingly powerful lyrics. Every song that I have heard from Hillsong is the same. They speak truth in such a way that is beautiful and unique... they make you want to listen over and over again. They truly are one of my personal favorite groups and it's easy to see why they are perhaps the biggest hit in worship music.

Needless to say, I am beyond excited for Friday's theatrical release of the new movie Hillsong- Let Hope Rise:

Capturing the on-stage energy and off-stage hearts of the Australia-based band Hillsong UNITED, HILLSONG - LET HOPE RISE is a new motion-picture genre: the theatrical worship experience. The film explores Hillsong's humble beginnings and astonishing rise to prominence as an international church whose songs are sung every Sunday by more than 50 million people worldwide.

I am so looking forward to getting a look behind the scenes at my favorite music group and getting to experience their music in a whole new way! It's going to be amazing!

Hillsong- Let Hope Rise will hit theaters September 16, 2016!

And one very lucky reader is going to get to experience the movie and music for themselves with a chance to win two electronic movie vouchers and the Hillsong-Let Hope Rise Soundtrack. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery. So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, and the It's Fall Y'all participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Make Money & Save Money with Dealspotr!

I love a good deal! Who doesn't, right? If ever I am shopping- be it online or in store- I am always looking for ways to keep a little extra money in my pocketbook. And I must say, I'm pretty good at finding those deals. In fact, people often come to me and ask..."How do you do it!?" So, when I heard about Dealspotr, I knew it was the website for me! Whether you're an expert deal spotter or just a shopper looking for deals, Dealspotr has a little something for everyone!

For the Deal Spotters

The best part for me about Dealspotr for me is the chance to make extra money by doing something I already love to do...finding and sharing great deals! When you post deals, you earn points which can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards.

Now, I must admit, I'm always a little skeptical about these type of sites where points are earned. I've found for me personally, I've not had much luck with them...the tasks were too time consuming, or the points took forever to amount to much of anything! This is absolutely not the case with Dealspotr. In fact, my first day, I earned a $20 Amazon credit! Not even a week later, I am well on my way to the next cashout level--- an additional $10!

Here's how it works:

1. Sign up here, using access code fdsiiNVjhttps://dealspotr.com/join?source=influencer
Just for signing up you will receive a 5000 point bonus--- that's $5!!

2. Now, for all you bloggers, add your blog link to your profile and place a button on your blog. Verify the button under Influencer Tools. This upgrades you to Silver Status and gives you a 15,000 point bonus...an additional $15! With these two steps alone, you've already earned a $20 Amazon gift card! Amazingly simple, right?

3. Again, bloggers...you can increase your status to Gold by posting your first 5 deals, write an article much like this and submit it for review. This will give you another 15,000 point bonus ($15). And when you reach Gold Status, you'll be given the option to cash out via Paypal as well!

4. So, now that you're all signed up... it's time to continue earning point! Don't worry, that's just as easy as the sign up bonuses! Simply post deals as you find them across the web! You can post up to 3 deals a day and earn varying amounts of points depending on the deal. Coupon codes for entire stores are worth more points than product deals. Deals posted for user requested stores will earn even MORE points. When users 'spot' your deals, you continue earning points...if they go 'Hot' or 'On Fire', you'll earn even more!  You can also spot deals that other users have posted- up to 5 a day...if those deals end up 'On Fire', you can earn even more points. As your Deal Rep improves, you'll earn additional bonuses for the deals you add!

5. Each day you'll be given a checklist, if you choose to complete it, you will earn a daily 200 point bonus on top of the point for those individual tasks.

As you can see, there are many ways that you can build up points and truly make decent money from the simple task of sharing deals! Awesome, right? I am loving it, and hope you all join and love it too!

For The Deal Shoppers

For those of you who just want to save, Dealspotr is just as amazing! I know, I know...there are a ton of great deal sites out there...so why choose Dealspotr?

  • Dealspotr is the "Wikipedia of deals". The deals are uploaded by its over 30,000 users, to ensure deals are accurate and complete!
  • Highest coverage and reliability of coupon codes. Every time a new promo code, verification that it is a working code is required! This helps to provide the best accuracy possible. 
  • Personal Feed of Deals. With Dealspotr, you are able to set up a personal newsfeed that shows you the categories and stores that YOU want to see so you are better able to find the deals most relevant to you!
Ready to save AND make money!? Go join Dealspotr now! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Three Kids Crafts to Do This Weekend #GrandparentsDay #PatriotsDay

This weekend there are two important events coming up, both on September 11- Grandparent's Day and Patriot's Day. In celebration of these days, we are revisiting a few kids' crafts from years passed! These are easy, inexpensive crafts that will serve as a great reminder on why we celebrate/remember these days:

Grandparent's Day Popsicle Stick Frame

This simple and fun craft is a great way to celebrate grandparents! There is nothing more they love more than showing off the grand-kids, and this is a great way to do it!!

Popsicle Stick US Flag Craft

Thank a Veteran Long Distance Hug

These crafts are a great way to show patriotism and thank those who put their life on the line for us each and every day- the military, police officers and fire department in remembrance of September 11th. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Finish Your Diploma #HatsOffToYou

The AdCouncil and FinishYourDiploma.org have launched a new campaign to celebrate the adults who have finished their diploma and to inspire those who feel like they have been alone or did not know where to turn to find resources and tools for free adult education in their community. There is always so much excitement around the weeks leading up to back to school. We get our shopping lists for supplies, new school clothes, and we start getting ourselves prepared for a new schedule. And even as parents, when our kids go back to school, our schedules change. Do you know an adult who is also going through this back to school routine? Many times we do not stop to think about the adults in our lives, friends, family, and co-workers, who might be working on furthering their education as well. And I am not just talking about college classes. I am talking about those hardworking adults who, for one reason or another, were unable to finish their high school diploma or equivalency. Maybe they had to get a job to help support their family, maybe they became mothers at an early age – whatever the reason – we need to celebrate, encourage and inspire anyone who feels like they have nowhere to turn if they were unable to get their high school diploma. Because they are not alone and there is help out there! Without a high school diploma, opportunities in today’s economy can be limited. In fact, nearly 30% of adults with household incomes at or below the federal poverty line do not have a high school credential. The AdCouncil and FinishYourDiploma.org have launched a new campaign to celebrate the adults who have finished their diploma and to inspire those who feel like they have been alone or did not know where to turn to find resources and tools for free adult education in their community. Since the campaign initially launched in 2010, Finish Your Diploma has helped more than 800,000 adults in all 50 states find free test-prep classes in their area. The AdCouncil and FinishYourDiploma.org have launched a new campaign to celebrate the adults who have finished their diploma and to inspire those who feel like they have been alone or did not know where to turn to find resources and tools for free adult education in their community. Please help us get the word out about the network of thousands of free adult education classes available throughout the country. You know people in your community who want to further their education and they can benefit from this information! In most communities, local nonprofits and literacy centers are able to offer free classes to help adults prepare for the GED, TASC, or HiSET high school equivalency tests. If we, as a community, can get people in the door, these centers will provide support and guidance on the path towards higher education. For many adults, earning a high school equivalency diploma is the first step toward a college degree, better job, or brighter future. How else can you help in your local community? The AdCouncil and FinishYourDiploma.org have launched a new campaign to celebrate the adults who have finished their diploma and to inspire those who feel like they have been alone or did not know where to turn to find resources and tools for free adult education in their community. Join the #HatsOffToYou Social Media Campaign – One thing that unites graduates in the U.S. is the tossing of a cap to celebrate their tremendous achievement. The AdCouncil and FinishYourDiploma.org are asking people to toss a hat in support of adult graduates and to inspire others to get their diplomas. Simply film a short video or Instagram Boomerang, or take a picture of yourself tossing any hat you have available. Use the hashtag #HatsOffToYou and tag @FinishYourDiploma on Instagram. Example: I’m tossing my hat to show my support for the thousands of hard-working adults who will earn their high school diplomas this year #HatsOffToYou. Will you be next? Visit FinishYourDiploma.org for helpful tips. @FinishYourDiploma